Laptop suggestions? - FreeBSD

This is a discussion on Laptop suggestions? - FreeBSD ; My old Dell Inspiron 5160 has developed problems that I can't fix, sigh, so it's time to replace it. I'm hoping for some good suggestions from this list (cc'd to hackers for the exposure, I know everyone doesn't read -mobile). ...

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  1. Laptop suggestions?

    My old Dell Inspiron 5160 has developed problems that I can't fix, sigh,
    so it's time to replace it. I'm hoping for some good suggestions from
    this list (cc'd to hackers for the exposure, I know everyone doesn't
    read -mobile).

    My criteria:
    * 3D acceleration.
    * MiniPCI wireless (don't care which card, I'll replace it
    anyway).
    * At least 15" screen.
    * Decent power consumption.
    * Plays well with FreeBSD 7-stable.

    Nice to have:
    * Dual core.
    * >4GB memory.
    * Working suspend/hibernate mode (and no, I'm not holding my
    breath).

    So, suggestions? BTW, if I get a decent response I'll summarize it for
    the list, along with the one I chose and my experience after
    ordering/installing it.
    --
    Frank Mayhar frank@exit.com http://www.exit.com/
    Exit Consulting http://www.gpsclock.com/
    http://www.exit.com/blog/frank/
    http://www.zazzle.com/fmayhar*
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  2. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Jul 25, 2008, at 3:23 PM, Jeremy Messenger wrote:

    > On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 09:34:32 -0500, Frank Mayhar
    > wrote:
    >
    >> My old Dell Inspiron 5160 has developed problems that I can't fix,
    >> sigh,
    >> so it's time to replace it. I'm hoping for some good suggestions
    >> from
    >> this list (cc'd to hackers for the exposure, I know everyone doesn't
    >> read -mobile).
    >>
    >> My criteria:
    >> * 3D acceleration.
    >> * MiniPCI wireless (don't care which card, I'll replace it
    >> anyway).
    >> * At least 15" screen.
    >> * Decent power consumption.
    >> * Plays well with FreeBSD 7-stable.
    >>
    >> Nice to have:
    >> * Dual core.
    >> * >4GB memory.
    >> * Working suspend/hibernate mode (and no, I'm not holding my
    >> breath).
    >>
    >> So, suggestions? BTW, if I get a decent response I'll summarize it
    >> for
    >> the list, along with the one I chose and my experience after
    >> ordering/installing it.

    >
    > Maybe you can wait for this:
    >
    > http://www.ixsystems.com/products/bsd-laptop.html


    Hi everyone! I actually had our prototype of this laptop up at the
    OSCON show in Portland and it was pretty well received.
    Everything works for the most part although we're still tweaking some
    things for ACPI.

    I'll have one at the FreeBSD booth at LinuxWorld in San Francisco next
    week, August 5-7. We'll announce as soon as this thing is 100% and
    we're comfortable bringing the product line up as an item that we're
    comfortable supporting long term. Most likely, available to the
    general public in September.

    best,
    -matt


    >
    >
    > I didn't compare your requirements in there, thought.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Mezz
    >
    >
    > --
    > mezz7@cox.net - mezz@FreeBSD.org
    > FreeBSD GNOME Team
    > http://www.FreeBSD.org/gnome/ - gnome@FreeBSD.org
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    > "


    --
    Matt Olander
    CTO, iXsystems - "Servers for Open Source" http://www.iXsystems.com
    Public Relations, The FreeBSD Project http://www.FreeBSD.org
    BSD on the
    Desktop! http://www.pcbsd.org
    Phone: (408)943-4100 ext. 113 Fax:
    (408)943-4101

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  3. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 5:20 PM, Achim Patzner wrote:
    > Am 30.07.2008 um 18:40 schrieb Dag-Erling Smørgrav:
    >>
    >> I don't understand what Macs have to do with this - we're talking about
    >> iX Systems's made-for-BSD laptop.

    >
    > The thread started with someone asking for a mobile computer that
    > would support FreeBSD sufficiently and nobody came up with something
    > fitting the bill (and being available somewhere). Considering the
    > picture you're seeing at any place where more than two hardcore Unix
    > users assemble you're seeing a majority of Macs. There has to be an
    > obvious reason for that... I tried to break that habit more than once
    > but right now the only comfortable way of running FreeBSD on a laptop
    > is VMware Fusion on a Mac. Reading this entire thread convinced me
    > even more.


    Please define "comfortable". I've been running FreeBSD 7.0 pretty
    comfortably on my HP nx6320 for several months now. I never attempted
    to use neither Bluetooth nor the fingerprint reader, so I don't miss
    them. The only real drawback I've found was that the memory card
    reader does not work. I also ran 8.0-CURRENT on a HP 6910p because 7.0
    did not support the WI-FI card.

    --
    Carlos Santos
    Working, but not speaking (or advertising) for HP :-)
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  4. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 04:31:10PM -0400, L Campbell wrote:
    > It depends on what you consider to be "comfortable".


    Seconded. I have been happily running FreeBSD (usually -CURRENT) on two
    laptops for the last 5+ years. No issues really. Of course, this
    required that I did not merely walk into a store and pick up the item
    that was the most heavily advertised or the cheaperst or the "coolest"
    according to some tech site. (FreeBSD is so cool anyway, that the
    machine gets barely notices anyway :-) Instead I picked machines that
    were well supported hardware-wise after careful research. This meant eg
    that I even left one in the shop because when I went on location, it
    turned out that it had an Azalia soundcard instead of AC97 (although the
    specs said differently) and that was not well supported at that time in
    FreeBSD. Incidentally, this usually means not taking the latest and
    greatest, but to be frank, I have no need for the latest tech either.

    At this time I have an IBM TP R50e, which "just works". It does not have
    fancy items like BT or fingerprint reader, but I do not require those
    either. The modem does not work but I have no need for that either any
    more. (On my previous laptop, the modem worked with the ltmdm driver as
    well and I used that to go online for at least one year.) Oh, and I do
    not use suspend/resume because to be frank, FreeBSD boots faster than
    Windows wakes up. So I have no need for that either.

    So yes, it entirely depends on your definition of "comfortable".

    --
    Regards:

    Szilveszter ADAM
    Budapest
    Hungary
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  5. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 01:26:18AM -0700, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:

    Hi,

    > FreeBSD has support for webcams? News to me.


    Luigi Rizzo was (is?) working on webcam support: http://info.iet.unipi.it/~luigi/Free...b-cameras.html

    --
    Regards,

    Richard.

    /* Homo Sapiens non urinat in ventum */
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  6. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Thursday 31 July 2008 06:17:54 Achim Patzner wrote:
    > Am 31.07.2008 um 02:45 schrieb Carlos A. M. dos Santos:
    > > On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 5:20 PM, Achim Patzner wrote:
    > >> I tried to break that habit more than once
    > >> but right now the only comfortable way of running FreeBSD on a laptop
    > >> is VMware Fusion on a Mac. Reading this entire thread convinced me
    > >> even more.

    > >
    > > Please define "comfortable".

    >
    > You just did so:
    > > I never attempted to use neither Bluetooth nor the fingerprint reader
    > > [...] the memory card
    > > reader does not work. I also ran 8.0-CURRENT on a HP 6910p because 7.0
    > > did not support the WI-FI card.

    >
    > Great Lord. I just opened the box, turned the machine on and - after
    > waiting
    > fo about a few minutes - just began using it. Drivers? Who cares. Serial
    > port? Just plug in an USB-to-serial. Getting X to run on the *censored*
    > *even more censorship*? No problem, it's even launching itself should I
    > really need it. Camera? Built-in. Unix that feels like FreeBSD? Built-
    > in.
    > HSDPA? Just connect the USB modem or plug in the Merlin XU.
    >
    > NO ****ING INTEL STICKERS TO PEEL OFF. PRICELESS.
    >


    guys ... seems most of you are seeing a laptop for the first time of your
    life, I am impressed

    so long as you ignore FreeBSD's almost-disability to resume from suspend it
    runs on all notes I got in my hands over the last years up to now with 7, and
    runs fine, often much better on cheap pieces (faster and longer bat life)
    than on some 1500-bucks-wonder-bonder-books

    and Jee, this sticker, man, hot!, intel, orange or bsd-whatever are really
    important, I agree ... first things first - and you could stick them on the
    screen to see them all the time


    João







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  7. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Thursday 31 July 2008 07:08:21 Jeremy Chadwick wrote:
    > On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:17:54AM +0200, Achim Patzner wrote:
    > > Drivers? Who cares. Serial port? Just plug in an USB-to-serial.

    >
    > You've obviously never used a USB-to-serial adapter. Are you aware of
    > the fact that there is no serial device class as part of the USB
    > specification? (Quite a great irony, if you ask me. Universal SERIAL
    > Bus, yet no serial device class...) AFAIK, there isn't even a draft
    > proposal for such.
    >
    > You *must* have drivers for a USB-to-serial adapter. And every adapter
    > is different, depending upon the adapter chipset used, many of which are
    > not disclosed in product specifications, so there's no way to guarantee
    > it'll work with FreeBSD. On -stable (I believe) some people have
    > mentioned which USB-to-serial adapters work great under FreeBSD and
    > Windows, while others are horrible (dropping characters, broken flow
    > control, interrupt issues, and many other problems).
    >



    I am not sure if that is true ...
    I believe that are port config issues
    I have Leadership USB to serial adaptor cable which works just fine with
    freebsd's usb drivers out-of-the-box since 5.3 or 6 for sure, works flawless
    with minicom

    João







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  8. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    Am 31.07.2008 um 12:08 schrieb Jeremy Chadwick:
    > On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:17:54AM +0200, Achim Patzner wrote:
    >> Drivers? Who cares. Serial port? Just plug in an USB-to-serial.

    >
    > You've obviously never used a USB-to-serial adapter.


    Wrong; I'm using them all the time. Initial kneading of serious
    Cisco stuff still didn't get into the 21. century. My tool of
    choice is an ExSys EX-1372 (ExpressCard, but that's just a fancy
    packaging for USB) which is - using the Mac OS built-in driver
    or Windows > 2000 - working out of the box and interrupt delivery
    is good enough to run Auerswald's Java application for their
    PABX systems (which is so timing-dependent that it is refusing
    to work with quite a few "real" serial ports).

    > Are you aware of
    > the fact that there is no serial device class as part of the USB
    > specification? (Quite a great irony, if you ask me. Universal SERIAL
    > Bus, yet no serial device class...) AFAIK, there isn't even a draft
    > proposal for such.


    I don't care. It just *works*, even with off-the-mill Prolific trash
    (although those will not suffice for my telefone).

    I won't even get into typical Mac-user's creature comforts like using
    Bluetooth serial devices (just power it on and the Mac magically sprouts
    a /dev/cu.Bluetooth-dongle-name.subdevice plus /dev/tty.
    which will even do fancy stuff like automatic speed and parity settings.

    > so there's no way to guarantee it'll work with FreeBSD.


    Which is true for so many things. Which I can buy off-the-shelf for
    Mac OS. No hassle, no hacking, no sweat. For me a desktop machine is
    a tool; I won't give it more consideration than a screwdriver. It
    has to do its job which (again: for me) is delivering a usable front-
    end for servers and writing documentation (and bills!) plus doing
    all the communication stuff I need to be able to work wherever I am.
    It boils down to: Unix, no Linux, Word (They make me need it...),
    VMware.


    >> It's a perfect machine for the desktop; I've forbidden FreeBSD to
    >> come
    >> creeping out the server room some years ago. I need it for keeping
    >> the
    >> penguins away, it's really good at that (no wonder - pitchforks do
    >> hurt).
    >> But it's a pain for desktoppy things - so why shouldn't I use
    >> something
    >> less useful? And the other way round: Running Mac OS X Server is the
    >> most painful thing I've ever been paid for; I've been replacing a
    >> lot of
    >> them with FreeBSD-based servers.

    >
    > The amount of rhetoric in these two paragraphs is amazing; I literally
    > cannot tell if you're trolling with anti-FreeBSD propaganda, or if
    > you're trolling with pro-FreeBSD propaganda. Congratulations, you've
    > confused at least one reader.


    Wrong on both counts. I'm just using the appropriate tools for the jobs
    that need to be done. And on the desktop FreeBSD just plain sucks in
    comparison to Mac OS. And after all, Mac users need FreeBSD - who else
    should provide them with all the nice things from ipfw to the user land?
    Would you really expect Apple to do it all on its own?

    Face it: The real difference between servers and desktops is the "who
    has to bend over"-question. Servers are adapted to the software they
    are going to run while on "personal computers" the software has to adapt
    to the machine ("I want that shiny Sony. I don't care if the hardware
    sucks, it's beautiful."). And Chuck is quite definitely lacking at
    bending
    over...


    Achim



  9. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Thu, 31 Jul 2008 11:17:54 +0200 Achim Patzner wrote:
    > Getting X to run on the *censored* *even more censorship*? No problem,


    Like you say, it depends on what you want from X. Leopard's X was
    tolerable. Tiger broke full screen mode, and Apple doesn't have the
    resources to fix it. Running X tools in a Mac WM means you get the
    worst features of both, and I gave up on that after about 20 minutes.

    So I now run FreeBSD in VMWare - to get a usable X server and window
    manager. The apps - mostly from macports - all run under OSX. The
    application selection isn't as good as FreeBSD, but the results are
    about as close as you're going to get with full hardware support.

    FWIW, it looks like VirtualBox will have client-side tools support for
    FreeBSD in the next release (as in, it looks like it's in their
    repository), at which point that will become my preferred VM solution
    for FreeBSD clients.

    --
    Mike Meyer http://www.mired.org/consulting.html
    Independent Network/Unix/Perforce consultant, email for more information.

    O< ascii ribbon campaign - stop html mail - www.asciiribbon.org
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  10. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    > And if you go with Lenovo, be aware that their T60/T60p/T61/T61p series
    > (and possibly the X-series) are known to sport very high temperatures.
    > Some people have reported temperatures of nearly 90C on their GPU (when
    > idling), which has a direct effect on the overall temperature of the CPU
    > (due to close proximity) and so on. This requires the fan to be on at
    > almost all times (usually low-speed mode). Others have it worse (the
    > laptop literally shutting off in the middle of operation):
    >


    I bought Lenovo T61 recently and dont see any hight GPU temperatures. GPU
    temperature is about 55C when idling. I never notice (so far) temperature
    above
    65C. More annoying is (subjectively) hot HDD under right wrist.

    Cheers Ale¹
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  11. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    Matt Olander wrote:
    > On Jul 25, 2008, at 3:23 PM, Jeremy Messenger wrote:
    >
    >> On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 09:34:32 -0500, Frank Mayhar wrote:
    >>
    >>> My old Dell Inspiron 5160 has developed problems that I can't fix, sigh,
    >>> so it's time to replace it. I'm hoping for some good suggestions from
    >>> this list (cc'd to hackers for the exposure, I know everyone doesn't
    >>> read -mobile).
    >>>
    >>> My criteria:
    >>> * 3D acceleration.
    >>> * MiniPCI wireless (don't care which card, I'll replace it
    >>> anyway).
    >>> * At least 15" screen.
    >>> * Decent power consumption.
    >>> * Plays well with FreeBSD 7-stable.
    >>>
    >>> Nice to have:
    >>> * Dual core.
    >>> * >4GB memory.
    >>> * Working suspend/hibernate mode (and no, I'm not holding my
    >>> breath).
    >>>
    >>> So, suggestions? BTW, if I get a decent response I'll summarize it for
    >>> the list, along with the one I chose and my experience after
    >>> ordering/installing it.

    >>
    >> Maybe you can wait for this:
    >>
    >> http://www.ixsystems.com/products/bsd-laptop.html

    >
    > Hi everyone! I actually had our prototype of this laptop up at the OSCON
    > show in Portland and it was pretty well received.
    > Everything works for the most part although we're still tweaking some
    > things for ACPI.
    >
    > I'll have one at the FreeBSD booth at LinuxWorld in San Francisco next
    > week, August 5-7. We'll announce as soon as this thing is 100% and we're
    > comfortable bringing the product line up as an item that we're
    > comfortable supporting long term. Most likely, available to the general
    > public in September.
    >
    > best,
    > -matt
    >


    Hi,

    I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(

    Otherwise it looks very promising although DVI or HDMI video output
    would be very welcome these days as would be built-in Bluetooth.
    (Btw thanks for RS232!)

    Cheers,

    Martin

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  12. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    Matt Olander wrote:
    > On Jul 25, 2008, at 3:23 PM, Jeremy Messenger wrote:
    >
    >> On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 09:34:32 -0500, Frank Mayhar wrote:
    >>
    >>> My old Dell Inspiron 5160 has developed problems that I can't fix, sigh,
    >>> so it's time to replace it. I'm hoping for some good suggestions from
    >>> this list (cc'd to hackers for the exposure, I know everyone doesn't
    >>> read -mobile).
    >>>
    >>> My criteria:
    >>> * 3D acceleration.
    >>> * MiniPCI wireless (don't care which card, I'll replace it
    >>> anyway).
    >>> * At least 15" screen.
    >>> * Decent power consumption.
    >>> * Plays well with FreeBSD 7-stable.
    >>>
    >>> Nice to have:
    >>> * Dual core.
    >>> * >4GB memory.
    >>> * Working suspend/hibernate mode (and no, I'm not holding my
    >>> breath).
    >>>
    >>> So, suggestions? BTW, if I get a decent response I'll summarize it for
    >>> the list, along with the one I chose and my experience after
    >>> ordering/installing it.

    >>
    >> Maybe you can wait for this:
    >>
    >> http://www.ixsystems.com/products/bsd-laptop.html

    >
    > Hi everyone! I actually had our prototype of this laptop up at the OSCON
    > show in Portland and it was pretty well received.
    > Everything works for the most part although we're still tweaking some
    > things for ACPI.
    >
    > I'll have one at the FreeBSD booth at LinuxWorld in San Francisco next
    > week, August 5-7. We'll announce as soon as this thing is 100% and we're
    > comfortable bringing the product line up as an item that we're
    > comfortable supporting long term. Most likely, available to the general
    > public in September.
    >
    > best,
    > -matt
    >


    Hi,

    I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(

    Otherwise it looks very promising although DVI or HDMI video output
    would be very welcome these days as would be built-in Bluetooth.
    (Btw thanks for RS232!)

    Cheers,

    Martin

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  13. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    martinko writes:
    > I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    > keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(


    Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    track" function in media players...

    DES
    --
    Dag-Erling Smørgrav - des@des.no
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  14. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    martinko writes:
    > I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    > keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(


    Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    track" function in media players...

    DES
    --
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  15. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
    > martinko writes:
    > > I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    > > keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(

    >
    > Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    > longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    > just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    > track" function in media players...
    >



    I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for. What? you press
    it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]? At any rate, maybe
    you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.

    -g

    > DES
    > --
    > Dag-Erling Smørgrav - des@des.no
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  16. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
    > martinko writes:
    > > I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    > > keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(

    >
    > Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    > longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    > just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    > track" function in media players...
    >



    I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for. What? you press
    it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]? At any rate, maybe
    you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.

    -g

    > DES
    > --
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    --
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    http://jottings.thought.org http://transfinite.thought.org


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  17. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, 22 Oct 2008, Gary Kline wrote:

    > On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
    >> martinko writes:
    >>> I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    >>> keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(

    >>
    >> Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    >> longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    >> just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    >> track" function in media players...
    >>

    >
    >
    > I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for. What? you press
    > it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]? At any rate, maybe
    > you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.


    Fn is usually used on laptop keyboards to allow two logical keys to share
    a single physical key. For example, see the keyboard pictured at
    http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/3415.jpg . On the extreme lower
    right is a key with "->" in white and "End" in blue. Pressing it by
    itself sends the keycode corresponding to an ordinary keyboard's "->" key.
    Holding Fn and pressing that key sends the keycode corresponding to an
    ordinary keyboard's "End" key. On many keyboards, pressing Fn by itself
    sends no keycode at all, so it cannot be remapped.

    It is also sometimes used to control hardware features which on a desktop
    machine might have a different interface. For instance, on the laptop
    pictured, holding Fn and pressing F6 would increase the screen brightness,
    probably without sending a keycode. A desktop machine would probably have
    a button on the monitor itself to do this.

    --

    Nate Eldredge
    neldredge@math.ucsd.edu
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  18. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, 22 Oct 2008, Gary Kline wrote:

    > On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
    >> martinko writes:
    >>> I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    >>> keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(

    >>
    >> Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    >> longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    >> just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    >> track" function in media players...
    >>

    >
    >
    > I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for. What? you press
    > it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]? At any rate, maybe
    > you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.


    Fn is usually used on laptop keyboards to allow two logical keys to share
    a single physical key. For example, see the keyboard pictured at
    http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/3415.jpg . On the extreme lower
    right is a key with "->" in white and "End" in blue. Pressing it by
    itself sends the keycode corresponding to an ordinary keyboard's "->" key.
    Holding Fn and pressing that key sends the keycode corresponding to an
    ordinary keyboard's "End" key. On many keyboards, pressing Fn by itself
    sends no keycode at all, so it cannot be remapped.

    It is also sometimes used to control hardware features which on a desktop
    machine might have a different interface. For instance, on the laptop
    pictured, holding Fn and pressing F6 would increase the screen brightness,
    probably without sending a keycode. A desktop machine would probably have
    a button on the monitor itself to do this.

    --

    Nate Eldredge
    neldredge@math.ucsd.edu
    _______________________________________________
    freebsd-mobile@freebsd.org mailing list
    http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/lis...freebsd-mobile
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  19. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:20PM -0700, Nate Eldredge wrote:
    > On Wed, 22 Oct 2008, Gary Kline wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
    >>> martinko writes:
    >>>> I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    >>>> keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(
    >>>
    >>> Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    >>> longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    >>> just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    >>> track" function in media players...

    >>
    >> I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for. What? you press
    >> it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]? At any rate, maybe
    >> you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.

    >
    > Fn is usually used on laptop keyboards to allow two logical keys to share
    > a single physical key. For example, see the keyboard pictured at
    > http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/3415.jpg . On the extreme lower
    > right is a key with "->" in white and "End" in blue. Pressing it by
    > itself sends the keycode corresponding to an ordinary keyboard's "->"
    > key. Holding Fn and pressing that key sends the keycode corresponding to
    > an ordinary keyboard's "End" key. On many keyboards, pressing Fn by
    > itself sends no keycode at all, so it cannot be remapped.
    >
    > It is also sometimes used to control hardware features which on a desktop
    > machine might have a different interface. For instance, on the laptop
    > pictured, holding Fn and pressing F6 would increase the screen
    > brightness, probably without sending a keycode. A desktop machine would
    > probably have a button on the monitor itself to do this.


    I always figured "Fn" was a good name for the key, given that it
    resembles the expletive that comes forth from my mouth when intending to
    hit Control.

    http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/9328.jpg

    ;-)

    --
    | Jeremy Chadwick jdc at parodius.com |
    | Parodius Networking http://www.parodius.com/ |
    | UNIX Systems Administrator Mountain View, CA, USA |
    | Making life hard for others since 1977. PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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  20. Re: Laptop suggestions?

    On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:20PM -0700, Nate Eldredge wrote:
    > On Wed, 22 Oct 2008, Gary Kline wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
    >>> martinko writes:
    >>>> I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
    >>>> keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea. :-(
    >>>
    >>> Seconded. Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
    >>> longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
    >>> just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
    >>> track" function in media players...

    >>
    >> I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for. What? you press
    >> it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]? At any rate, maybe
    >> you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.

    >
    > Fn is usually used on laptop keyboards to allow two logical keys to share
    > a single physical key. For example, see the keyboard pictured at
    > http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/3415.jpg . On the extreme lower
    > right is a key with "->" in white and "End" in blue. Pressing it by
    > itself sends the keycode corresponding to an ordinary keyboard's "->"
    > key. Holding Fn and pressing that key sends the keycode corresponding to
    > an ordinary keyboard's "End" key. On many keyboards, pressing Fn by
    > itself sends no keycode at all, so it cannot be remapped.
    >
    > It is also sometimes used to control hardware features which on a desktop
    > machine might have a different interface. For instance, on the laptop
    > pictured, holding Fn and pressing F6 would increase the screen
    > brightness, probably without sending a keycode. A desktop machine would
    > probably have a button on the monitor itself to do this.


    I always figured "Fn" was a good name for the key, given that it
    resembles the expletive that comes forth from my mouth when intending to
    hit Control.

    http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/9328.jpg

    ;-)

    --
    | Jeremy Chadwick jdc at parodius.com |
    | Parodius Networking http://www.parodius.com/ |
    | UNIX Systems Administrator Mountain View, CA, USA |
    | Making life hard for others since 1977. PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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